Thanksgiving or Bust

Thanksgiving has ALWAYS been my favorite meal of the year.  I don’t know why, but I feel we are MEANT to eat and give thanks on Thanksgiving.  Even if we have the same food for Christmas (which we don’t do anymore), it’s not the same.  Probably because of the chaos leading up to Christmas – I’m not in the mood to cook a huge meal and I don’t want to be stuffed when I need to be playing with my gifts!!!

At my MIL’s Thanksgiving table this year, we were blessed with great company:

  • My MIL
  • My SIL, her fiance and her two kids
  • A couple of winter Texan friends of my MIL’s
  • Our Pastor and his wife
  • My third foster mother
  • My family of six

I am blessed.

AND there were leftovers!

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    Life and Love Goes On

    This past week has been enlightening, to say the least.  My third foster mother came to visit us for the week.  I lived with her family from May 1977 until August 1979.  A lot happened while I lived there, the most notable being that my mother killed herself and then their daughter (a year younger than me) was diagnosed and died of Hodgkin’s disease within a year.  Life would never be the same in their home, and I chose to move on.  For me, it was the best decision…but, it did cause some hurt feelings along the way.  For that, I’m truly sorry.  But, I have no regrets about my decision to move – I wouldn’t be the person I am today had I not moved in with my aunt and uncle!

    I have not seen my foster mother since my husband and I had our wedding reception 18+ years ago.  Wow.  She’s had a few health issues, but her mind is still sharp and I think our week together was good for both of us – reminder that there is still love there, that we can continue to love and that whatever happened was God’s will and we accept it and move forward.  I will never be their daughter, nor will they ever be my parents.  But, I can be friends with them – which sets great with me!

    Here’s some pix I took while she was here:

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      Happy Thanksgiving Turkey!

      I get pretty nostalgic over the holidays – is hard to have lived in 5 foster homes and not take a piece of each of their holiday traditions with me when I moved on. 

      • With my parents, we usually spent Thanksgiving at my Gramma Hickey’s house.  She made one pie for each of us (five kids in our family) – except my youngest brother and I liked the same thing, so I always had to share with him!  We would say our grace and then Grandpa Hickey would put a piece of bread in the middle of his plate and PILE on everything else offered.  One big food pile.  Then, he’d eat it (and totally gross us kids out).  He said that it all ended up like that so you might as well eat it like that!
      • In my first foster home, my foster dad had three unmarried siblings who lived on the family farm.  We went there the one Thanksgiving I lived with them – was fun for my foster sister and myself to run around on a farm, but boy those old people sure were stern and didn’t much like kids around!
      • In my second foster home, I was only there a couple of months, so didn’t have Thanksgiving with them.
      • In my third foster home, I believe we always went to a family reunion for my foster mother’s family over Thanksgiving.  Is hard to remember this one, as there was so much trauma and grieving after their daughter passed away.
      • In my fourth foster home (my aunt and uncle who finished raising me), I think we may have gone to my aunt’s parent’s house for Thanksgiving.
      • In my fifth foster home (not really a foster home, since I was over 18, but I still count it as one), we went out to a lovely restaurant for Thanksgiving each year!

      For my own family, before we moved to my MIL’s property, Thanksgiving was MY holiday.  Sometimes my husband’s Grandmother would join us, but it was my time to cook and enjoy the smells and languishing in the kitchen just for my family.  The kids would be bustling around, the dad-person would be enjoying the family and I would get one last chance at a relaxed pace before the Christmas holiday began.

      Now that we live down the hill from my MIL, we have Thanksgiving at her house.  We invite those who may need a place to go and, of course, our family and my SIL’s family come to eat our way through a long weekend! 

      Personally, I also include my own traditions for the holiday weekend.  The first is that at some point, I sit and watch “The Homecoming” video.  This was the original pilot to “The Walton’s” with Patricia O’Neal – who has always reminded me of my mother.  And because of the vows I took to never sing Christmas songs until after Thanksgiving (ahem, at least in front of my husband), I make whoever can play a piano bust out the holiday songs and play me some Christmas tunes so I can sing at the top of my lungs!

      I hope you remember your thanks this day, as well as your traditions.  They go hand-in-hand.

      Happy Thanksgiving!

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        We Interupt the Quilt Market Posts to Play Tourist!

        We had friends from Utah come to spend last weekend with us.  It was fabulous, and a much-needed reminder that we rarely go out without our children (February was the last time), we do not have many “true” friends and when folks come to town, I get a chance to eat out at some of my favorite restaurants!

        This was the couple that my husband and I had our “date nights” with when we lived in Utah.  The four of us would go out to dinner and then end up on their deck, contemplating life and the universe – listening to my husband and friend Cathy discuss the pros and cons of education while Cathy’s husband and I would just laugh at their seriousness and talk about the weather.

        We picked Val up at the airport in San Antonio, then drove downtown to get Cathy from a conference she was attending.  Within 30 minutes, we were seated at THE best TexMex restaurant on the Riverwalk, and no more than five minutes after we ordered had John and Cathy slipped into their educational discussions while Val and I just grunted and groaned at the food we were shoveling into our mouths.  Those are friends – when you can not see each other for 4+ years and fall right into “normalcy” as if we hadn’t been apart at all.

        We went out to a honky tonk closer to home after we had toured the Alamo and saw what we could see before the sun went down.  That was when I realized my husband and I had not tested out a dance floor in THREE years!  And Cathy, who has known me almost 10 years, didn’t even KNOW I knew how to dance (as if there’s a lot of honky tonks in Utah).

        On Sunday, we took our friends to church with us, which just happened to be the first ever cowboy service.  Believe it or not, those staunch Lutherans actually had us a’singin’ “Happy Trails” – do you know how hard that is to sing without Roy Rogers and Trigger riding off into the sunset???  Sunday evening, we had our pastor and his wife, a friend from church and my MIL down to the house for a cozy (and delish) dinner, drinks and more discussions.  My one friend even brought a video out for the kids so they had something to do!

        Monday, we snuck off to Fredericksburg, Texas, for a day of touring, shopping and eating (again). 

        Then Monday evening I took Cathy with me to our quilt group meeting – not sure she got anything out of it, but it was a chance to get out of the house with creative people doing what we love doing!

        Tuesday I came back to my work while hubby took our guests back to the airport for their trip home.  Sad to see them go but what a wonderful opportunity for me to remember how important friends have been in our lives.

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